The Mesoamerican Territorial Fund (FTM) benefited 16,952 people from 228 communities in its piloting cycle. These communities are distributed among 7 indigenous peoples’ organizations and 2 local organizations. The results were released on September 22, within the framework of Climate Week in New York.
The FTM is an alternative financial mechanism, managed directly by indigenous peoples and local communities, that is, by those of us who live and sustain the last great forests and natural territories in six Mesoamerican countries. It was born as an initiative of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), made up of indigenous and local community organizations that live in different territories and tropical forests of the region. Its objective is to contribute to the protection of biodiversity, the fight against climate change and the degradation of nature, for which we promote the strengthening of governance, rights and indigenous and community enterprises.
The Fund supports strategic initiatives, defined by the communities themselves and that have the potential to be replicable, scalable or become public policy. Within the different thematic financing windows, there are:
- Climate change, degradation of nature and protection of biodiversity
- Land and forest rights
- Indigenous and community economic and productive enterprises
- Women-led project
- Youth projects
- Support for emergencies and opportunities
Currently, the initiative is in the incubation phase, for the adjustment and formalization of the governance system and deepening of local participation, as well as the establishment of alliances and commitments of financial resources for the following phases. Check the FTM brochure for more details on the results of the first pilot cycle of projects, during 2020-2021:
Governance and evaluation
The FTM is governed by a Board of Directors of 7 people, composed of 4 members of the AMPB and 3 independent people (approved by the Board of Directors of the AMPB). At least 3 women must integrate it. Our Executive Management responds to the Board of Directors.
The Fund has Territorial Base Committees, located in the territories in each country that are within the scope of the AMPB. Each of these committees is made up of representatives of the different community and thematic social bases in each territory (women, youth, community entrepreneurs and general issues). Its function is to identify, by consensus, some project ideas and profiles for possible investment in their respective territory, in response to a call issued by the Fund’s Regional Selection and Verification Technical Committee.
In addition, the Technical Verification and Validation Committee of the Fund is made up of 5 members (a community woman, a community youth, a person from the technical team of the Alliance and 2 independent experts). This committee validates the proposals using specific criteria, according to the call, verifying the eligibility of the proponents, the expected strategic impact and their administrative, financial and technical feasibility.
Finally, the Fund’s Administrative and Technical Financial Unit is led by the Executive Directorate. It is made up of a team that, in addition to having professional experience, has practical knowledge and a history of supporting our community organizations. Provides support to communities with less experience in the technical implementation and administrative management of projects, and with less access to technology.
The monitoring system combines internal self-assessment with external and independent evaluation. The Fund is subject to independent and transparent audit and evaluation so that all stakeholders know how well all aspects are working and if these still need to be changed. We integrate people from outside the AMPB in our governance as a mechanism to guarantee transparency in decision-making and neutrality on financed projects.
The Shandia Shandia initiative is the platform created by indigenous peoples and local communities to guarantee and facilitate access to direct financing for actions to stop climate change and land degradation and for the protection of biodiversity by local organizations. The Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (AGCT), of which AMPB is a member organization, thus forms an ecosystem of regional mechanisms (such as the FTM) to channel global funds.